As your children, Moms and Dads, we’d like for you to know

we’re glad you were around to help us all to grow.


You understood that our time as children is short…how it only lasts a little while

In that time you taught us how to be happy…you taught us how to smile.


You showed us that we mattered…we think that is the key

You loved us for who we are…not for who you wanted us to be.


You understood how to be a parent…how we were your priority

You knew your jobs were important…but also…so were we


You knew we were your children…not distractions you could shirk

In fact…you showed us every day we were your most important work.


You taught us to be accepting and kind…so when our childhood ends

We would be good people…good husbands, wives and friends.


Here are two things we’d like to tell you…two things we hope you never forget

The first…we will always be your children no matter how old we get.


The second is just a little something we shall forever be counting on…

always send us a goodnight kiss…even when we’re gone. 


And now that our childhood is ending…(like we said it only lasts a little while)

we want to thank you for giving us the kind of childhood we can look back on and smile.


Thank you for loving us every day…like you did the day we came


and making it so easy…for us to do the same.

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A photo of 3 brothers in a different time

in more innocent and carefree days

3 brothers only children then

before they went their separate ways


A photo of 3 brothers today after life has interfered

The same 3 brothers only in this photo their youth as disappeared.


3 brothers who don’t have much in common now

who don’t often share with one another

who still understand the importance 

of what it is to be a brother… 


3 brothers who don’t see each other often

who have never been birds of a feather

who, realizing life is short,

decide to get together…


3 brothers come together to reminisce

each glad the others came

each knowing how, although they’re different,

they’re still a little bit the same.


3 brothers who realize their importance

in the grand design…

Who know even though they’ve grown apart

their roots are intertwined.


3 brothers who understand they’re branches all grow

from the same majestic family tree

Who are happy knowing wherever life takes them


3 brothers they will always be

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Their mom opened up the cookies in the car…

it was tradition on their trips

their children couldn’t wait for that first bite of cookie to meet up with their lips…


The youngest was named Billy, who was blind, 

not as lucky as you and me

being born into a world of darkness…a world he’ll never see.


But they never bemoaned his affliction, 

tried never to get angry, swear or cry.

They decided if Billy needed help seeing…

they would offer him their eyes.


“But this trip would be a little different.” their mom said, 

"Today you’re all in for a surprise

before I pass out the cookies…

I want you all to close your eyes.”


“Today you’ll see the way Billy sees…

a little test you’ll be completing.

Keep your eyes closed and see if you can tell me 

the kind of cookie you are eating.”


“Chocolate chip!” came a quick answer…

the rest of the children nodded their heads.

Then all eyes turned to Billy who smiled…

”It taste’s like Grandma!” is what he said.


Billy quickly sensed his family’s confusion…

but the smile on his face remained…

and when he finished chewing…he immediately explained.


“You know how Grandma always sings when she bakes cookies…

well I learned  long ago

that as she sings I can hear the music settle in the dough…”


Then I hear the music mixing 

when she turns on the beater

which makes any cookie baked by Grandma 


and taste a little sweeter.”


“There’s more to her cookies than you can see 

if you use your ears not just your sight.

when you close your eyes you can taste it...

Grandma’s songs in every bite.”


“OK!” Mom said. “Everyone close your eyes again…

a second test we’ll be completing.

And after handing out the cookies she asked,

“What kind of cookie you are eating?”


As the children ate their cookies in silence…listening…

their faces were easy to read….

“It still tastes like Grandma!” Billy said…


and everyone agreed.

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I informed my neighbor the bad news…that her old oak tree was dying

The old woman nodded that she understood and then she started crying.


As I watched her I thought to myself how odd…how silly can this old woman be

I can’t believe she’s crying…after all…it’s just a tree.


“My husband planted that tree right after we were married” she said

“He said, like our love we’ll watch it grow…

I can’t believe it’s been so long…that was 50 years ago…”


“I suppose you think I’m crazy…and it doesn’t make much sense to you

but our children climbed her branches…our grandchildren climbed them too.”


“She’s weathered the cold of winter, her Fall colors would burst…then fade,

she’d always come back to us in Spring and in Summer she’d offer up her shade.”


“We had many a picnic under her leaves…sometimes we’d just sit and stare

at the squirrels playing hide and seek and the birds who nested there.”


“And when my husband passed away…as my tears ran down her wood

I felt her branches engulfing me…as if she understood”


“Forgive me if I cry a little…but she’s been so important to me.

We’ve been through so much together…she’s been part of my family.”


And when they came to take her tree away…I knew she’d be feeling blue

So I went to her, I held her hand and asked, “Is it’s okay if I sit with you.”


I let her cry…I let her weep…for in the stillness I could see

That old oak they were removing


was so much more than just a tree.

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Life moves so very fast…moments with our children and grandchildren do not last

We know it happens but we find it hard to understand…

Where did those moments goes…how time both ebbs and flows

for it seems like only yesterday we held them in our hands.


Then all of a sudden…before we know…somehow…they grow…and grow…

And all at once they are standing up…then walking 

Then as odd as it must sound…we all but turned around

in the next instant they have started talking.


Then once again time flies… because we only blink our eyes

and when we open them our children have turned five

then ten, then twelve, then fifteen…we wonder where the time went in between

and when did they become old enough to drive?


And again we look around…and before us…you have found

something that causes us to groan…

Although it’s easy to conceive..,it’s still hard to believe

they are now adults and living on their own.


Now, with their families they come to visit…and it is exquisite 

how some will travel near…some travel far

and as in the door they wander…you have to stop and ponder

when did our grandchildren become taller than we are?


And our age we’re now dismissing as we sit there reminiscing

telling them stories and trying to make them understand

How time has flown away…because it was only yesterday…

when we were sitting here 


holding them in your hands.

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Her Grandma was always ready with a hug as she walked through the door

The kind of hug you don’t forget…that can’t be duplicated any more.


Her Grandma had a certain knack…of making her feel like a star…

Like how she always had her favorite cookies…waiting in her cookie jar.


Like how her Grandma would always listen…smile then agree…

after asking her…when you grow up…what do you want to be?


When she looks back on her Grandma…she thinks what wonderful times those were…

how much she loved her Grandma…how much those visits meant to her…


And now that she’s a grandma…

her grandchildren’s visits follow a familiar theme…

She greets them with a hug, 

a cookie,


and she listens to their dreams.


Our grandson wanted to learn about fishing…so on a sunny day in July

with a pole he found in the back of a closet we thought we’d give it a try.


With shrimp for bait and his dad, his Nana and me to cheer

we drove down to our marina and walked out on the pier.


We baited his hook, he cast it out…and with the ocean breeze acting like a fan

he was poised to catch his fish…but the fish had other plans.


They must have known he was a rookie…they certainly knew the routine

because they kept feasting on the shrimp and his hook kept coming back clean.


Eventually, with a little luck, he was able to land his fish! 

We all cheered and took his picture at the fulfilling of his wish.


As we basked in his wonderful moment…and to the water the fish returned

I thought of all the lessons, from fishing, that can be learned…


Like how if you want to reach a target…

accomplish a goal you have set

sometimes you’re going to get your hands dirty

sometimes you’re going to get a little wet. 


Like how you might realize along the way

you’re not as smart as all the fishes…

But if you prepare yourself and have the patience

you can still fulfill your wishes.


Like how you won’t win every battle

but never to feel dejected or distressed

because when you do win, 

when you catch that fish

you will relish in your success.


Finally, and perhaps most important, when your surrounded by family

you learn how wonderful, how awesome…how beautiful life can be.


How any moment with family can be inspiring and exciting

Like standing together on a pier


even when the fish aren’t biting.

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We love to walk along the beach in the early morning air

with the salt smell in our noses and a breeze blowing in our hair…


We love to watch the sun paint the sky…breathing color into the dusky grey

We love to watch the pelicans glide and the dolphins greet the day.


Each morning brings it’s own moments of surprise…we love the spontaneity 

never knowing what we’ll find…or who we’ll chance to see.


This morning we were finishing our little walk beside the sea

when ahead of us, in the water, we saw a family of three.


A grandfather, a father and a son..who we assume was getting his wish

as the grandfather and the father were teaching him to fish.


We stopped for a moment to relish in this early moment of surprise…

as the past, the present and the future generation stood right before out eyes.


And a smile crossed our faces as our own memories revived

of times when our children were that young and their grandparents were alive.


We thought how life moves on so quickly…how fast the time flies by

how these moments appear then fade away…right before our eyes.


How we must savor every moment knowing that moment will not last

because each step into the present leaves a footprint in the past.


And we hoped these three generations standing in the water as the day was about to dawn

would savor this moment they were sharing…because all too soon…

the moment’s gone….


Walking away from them I thought…

what a wonderful moment they had planned

and I had to smile when I looked back at them…


and saw our footprints in the sand.

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She is our first cousin’s daughter’s daughter which genealogically proves

that she is our first cousin…wait…first cousin twice removed.


And she is sick…we don’t know with what…we just became aware

when her mother, our first cousin once removed, asked us to send prayers.


Prayers to help her now…and prayers to see her through

Which we did, of course we did, and which we’ll always do


You see it matters not how may times she’s removed…one or two or three

because no matter the number or the count…she is family.


And it matters not where we are…anywhere from coast to coast

family comes together when we are needed most.


And so we’re sending love her way…upon the wind…and through the air

Love floating to her on the breeze in the form of thoughts and prayers…


But I got to thinking…aren’t we all cousins…removed…speaking genealogically 

and wouldn’t that make us all related…part of the same family?


So if our prayers as they float to her… decide to pause a spell

at the houses of other family members who might need them as well…


I’m sure her mother…once…and our cousin twice removed…

would pause wherever they’re at…

smile and whisper to each other


“we’re OK with that.”

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